1) What is your definition of bad customer service?
Being approached, after having paid and served, without a word or expression makes me want to turn around and leave. Damn!!! Why did I pay? The lack of human emotion or interaction kills me. It tells me that itʼs not their business or, if it is, they donʼt like their business or they donʼt want your business and donʼt care at all. Doomed to disappear.
Also, not being greeted when I arrive will make me turn around before I even order. I don’t care if they are students who are heavily underpaid and just doing what theyʼve been told to do…they have to start realizing that it is because of the returning customers that they have a job. Customer care should be, by far, the most important training focus.
2) From a retail perspective, whatʼs one of your customer service pet peeves?
When people come in and donʼt respond to your greeting, as if they’re a rock or ice block brought in to your shop. They look around and walk away without a word. Could that be that they feel like they have to buy something once they start talking? It makes me feel like ʻwhatʼs wrong with me or my cute little store?’
3) Can you provide an example of how you turned a bad experience into a good one through customer service?
Having customers from around the world visiting our waffle cart in the Inner Harbour, bigger groups tend to surround you while talking in their foreign language. This can be quite intimidating and overwhelming because you have no idea what they are talking about. There faces are pretty serious and they feel great that they can comment on everything without me having a clue. I know how that feels as a Flemish person.
Good thing I did pay attention during my first business year and enjoyed wondering how other cultures say :”Bon a petit” or “enjoy”. So, whenever I have a pretty tense situation going on like that and I’m able to guess the language they are speaking through listening and their physiognomy, I say just that one word in there language, like “Masarap.” They all start laughing as if I just said: “I love you.”
They change completely, order more waffles, take pictures and some of them just
wonder if I just understood everything they were talking about. It feels really great when you can open up a persons’ face, which was at first very grumpy, and turn it in to a bright smile. It becomes so much easier to start and develop a conversation.